Twisted Metal

  • Couch Co-Op: 2 Players
  • + Co-Op Campaign
Review by 4

Twisted Metal Co-Op Review

Vehicular Slaughter

Before I begin: Yes, I played Twisted Metal back in the day.  I’ve earned (meaning I didn’t look them up on Youtube) all of the demented endings from the first three games.  You could say I’m familiar with the franchise, or at least I was.  The premise is simple enough.  Players enter a tournament of vehicular carnage, battling to the death in specially made kill-o-mobiles.  

If you want to skip straight to the co-op portion of the review, be my guest. Simply jump to page two.  If you're only interested in a number score, you’re not reading this.  Have a nice day!

Twisted Metal is a grainy, gritty, and just plain angry looking game.  Everything seems to have a layer of filth covering it.  This adds nicely to the feeling of violence and strife presented in this chaotic world.  The soundtrack is pretty boss, and the vehicle and weapon sounds are comfortably familiar.  Arenas are large and conducive to smashing car combat.  There are suburban sprawls packed with squishy pedestrians, treacherous canyons, skyscraping rooftops with deadly drops, and even a ThunderDome-style coliseum.

Once you master the bizarre controls (all three control options initially stupefied me), Twisted Metal becomes a very enjoyable game.  Each infernal machine handles differently, and you can easily see a vehicle’s Speed, Armor, and Special Weapon on the pre-match selection screen.  Every so often you’ll unlock a new vehicle or side arm to add to your arsenal.  

Most people don't consider a chain saw a projectile weapon.  Most people are wrong.

The old games had specific drivers and stories for each vehicle.  Sadly, this is not the case in this iteration of Twisted Metal.  It’s a shame there’s no longer a story behind every monstrous machine.  That could have really added to the longevity of the title.  The story mode focuses on three characters, Sweet Tooth, Mr. Grimm, and Doll Face. These three murderous villains each occupy a third of the campaign, and they are able to drive any of the vehicles you may have unlocked.  

Most missions will feature a garage where you can swap out your ride if it takes too much damage, or if you need to change tactics.  If the car you’re driving takes a fatal blow, it’s game over, even if you have a garage full of undamaged vehicles.  You can drive Death Warrant, Shadow, and Kamikaze all in the same match.  Or, if you really love a particular ride, you can select it three times, backing up your backup with the same backup. 

The goal of the majority of the story missions is to simply destroy all the other drivers.  Learning when to stay and fight and when to flee and re-arm is quintessential to success.  When you finally score a kill shot your opponent will explode in a firey inferno of molten metal and children's nightmares.  Running over the burning occupants as they flee screaming from the smoldering wreckage will grant you health and weapon pickups.  Just like in real life.

You used to be so cool, Mr. Grimm. What happened?

Live action cut scenes break up the action.  The actors are dressed in little more than Halloween costumes, so they’re hard to take seriously. These scenes come in three distinct flavors: uncomfortable (Sweet Tooth) tedious (Mr. Grimm) and kind-of-awesome (Dollface).

The little mission variety that exists in the campaign helps the game more than expected.  I thought that the racing portions would be awful, but eventually I found them quite enjoyable.  The boss fights are big, over the top, and a little buggy.  I had a blast motoring though the story mode.  It was even better with a friend.

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